What are Clear aligners?
Clear aligners are transparent orthodontic appliances used to move teeth. They fit over the teeth, similar to mouthguards. There are more than 27 products available, and at Smilefocus we use Invisalign and WhitesmileClear.
Which type of clear aligner is best?
Different clear aligners deliver different benefits. In consultation with your dentist you will determine which system is the better alternative for your treatment, depending on the complexity of your needs.
What are clear aligners used for?
Clear aligners are generally used for overcrowding and straightening. We like to highlight 5 key primary benefits:
- You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing due to the nearly invisible aligners
- Clear aligners allow you to preview how your straight teeth will look even before you start treatment
- Aligners are removable, therefore you can eat normally, as well as brush and floss your teeth easily to maintain oral hygiene
- With no metal brackets or wires in your mouth, there will be less irritation; most people find it easier to get used to wearing clear aligners
- Clear aligners can mean fewer visits to the dentist. Fixed braces require regular adjustment visits every 6 – 8 weeks. When you wear aligners, your dentist will typically give you sufficient aligners for a longer period, and where appropriate, monitor your progress remotely using Dental Monitoring. Dental Monitoring is a smartphone app that lets you regularly upload images of your teeth for your dentist to review progress.
How do clear aligners work?
Aligners use small, controlled forces to move teeth through to the appropriate placement. Aligners can also control the timing of the force applied ensuring that only specific teeth are moved during the phases of the treatment, delivering more efficient results.
How long does the treatment take?
We understand that patients want a fixed timeline but it depends upon the severity of the case. Treatment may vary from 6 months to 2 years while an average treatment will take around 12 – 14 months.
Is it painful?
In the early stages of treatment most people experience temporary, minor discomfort. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. This discomfort normally goes away a couple of days after you insert the new aligner in the series. If patients find it uncomfortable mild pain relief can be administered at home (paracetemol, asprin etc).
What exactly happens?
First, we take an x-ray of the patients’ teeth, a bite registration and a silicone impression of their teeth and gums. Then we model the various aligners a patient will need.
Each aligner is intended to be worn an optimal 22 hours a day for 1 to 2 weeks. The aligner is removed for brushing, flossing and eating. Once the treatment period has concluded, the patient is required to continue wearing retainers at night for the foreseeable future. Retainers look like aligners, and are designed to hold the teeth in the desired position. Your teeth will relapse if you do not wear retainers.
What is the cost?
There can be quite a range in costs, depending on your treatment needs so it is always best to have a consultation first.
Want to know more? Make an appointment with a dentist to discuss your needs so a comprehensive treatment plan can be provided for you to consider.
Dr Alison Roberts trained in Manchester and has worked in clinics around the world. Dr Roberts is experienced in both Invisalign, Cfast and cosmetic treatment procedures. For an appointment, please contact us here: